Coconut Lemon Bars

I’m sorry my posts have been few and far between lately. My course load this semester is a quite a bit heavier than I expected (although my pay isn’t…of course), and it’s taking up a lot more time than I anticipated. I hope to add a few more posts during the week as I get settled into a routine. I hope ūüėČ

Luckily, I’ve been able to keep my Sundays free for cooking and recipe¬†development,¬†and Sunday I came up with a delicious treat: Coconut Lemon Bars. If you like coconut and lemon, these bars are for you. Even if you’re on the fence about coconut (or, as Mr. M mockingly says, you don’t seek out the coconut), you’ll probably like these rich, little treats. They were a HUGE hit at work. I need to make them again just so everyone who wanted to¬†can try them¬†– and so the people who got to try them can have some more. Yup. They’re that good.

Coconut Lemon Bars

Coconut Lemon Bars

Bar Base

3/4 c almonds*

1/4 c sunflower seeds

1/2 c dates

1/2 c prunes

2 TBSP coconut butter**

Blend/food process nuts, seeds, and dates until they form a sticky crumble. Press the mixture into a small pan, or make mini bites by pressing the mix into mini-muffin tins or silicone molds. You can also form the bars into the shape of your choice on parchment or wax paper (Valentine hearts?!).

Coconut Lemon Bars Base

Coconut Topping

1/2 c coconut butter**

2 TBSP maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)

Juice & Zest of one organic lemon (about 2 TBSP juice & 1 TBSP zest)

Water as needed by the tsp

Blend all ingredients into a thick, frosting like consistency. If your mixture is too thick, add water by the teaspoon-full until desired consistency is achieved. Spread over bar base and freeze or refrigerate bars until coconut topping is firm/solid. Cut into bite sized pieces. (Mine made 20 one inch by one square bites.)

Bite Sized

*Try replacing the almonds with pumpkin seeds (pepitas). I meant to try this myself, but forgot. Oops! It’s my plan for the next batch ūüėČ

**Make your own coconut butter! Add two bags of unsweetened, desiccated¬†coconut flakes (or shreds) to a food processor and run on high until a thick, creamy butter forms. Depending upon the power of your processor, it should take about 8-10 minutes. My old, wimpy¬†food processor took about 10 minutes, and my new, heavy-duty¬†one takes about 8. Store your super cheap (less than $2.50 from my local Kroger) coconut butter in a glass container and keep it in a cool, dry place. DO NOT put it in the refrigerator. I did that, and it turned into a coconut rock. But…it returned to its soft, buttery state after a few minutes in a warm water bath. So, if someone accidentally refrigerates your coconut butter, just warm it up, and you’ll be good to go.

I couldn't resist a bite of my own ūüėČ

I’d love to know how these bars turn out for you if you try them. I was shocked by how many of my coworkers liked them. I guess people occasionally like something other than chocolate for dessert. Who knew?!

I’m sharing this recipe with the awesome readers of Wellness Weekends¬† at Diet Dessert and Dogs, Allergy Friendly Friday at¬†Cybele Pascal’s Allergen Free Cuisine,¬†and submitting it to the Valentine’s Day Bake-Off at Forks and Beans.

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